The Diary

Ed's relative values

By Simon Rocker, October 7, 2010

Many have questioned the influence on Ed Miliband of his mother Marion Kozak, a supporter of Jews for Justice for Palestinians.

But a closer look at his family history reveals an altogether more positive influence. Aunt Nan Keen (nee Miliband) worked for publishers Valentine Mitchell, which was owned by the JC.

The children and relatives of JC staff are clearly destined for greatness. The JC's former advertising manager Tony Mandelson, had a son who was once famous, apparently.

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Amy and Mark make up

By Simon Rocker, September 28, 2010

In the seasonal spirit of forgiveness, Amy Winehouse has made peace after lashing out at fellow Jewish musician Mark Ronson.

The troubled singer, who calls herself the "Jewish lioness", on her Twitter page, got her claws into Ronson after he claimed credit for her album Back to Black, tweeting "ronson you're dead to me."

But the star was quick to explain away her anger, albeit in language the rest of us might struggle with. On her personal Twitter account amyjademermaid she wrote: "Ronson i love you; that make it better? you knoww i love you- it's a jew thingz x whup rza."

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BNP man attacks writer

By Simon Rocker, September 28, 2010

The BNP's ex spokesman has accused a columnist of being part of a Jewish campaign to destroy society. Stuart Russell - also known by his pseudonym Phil Edwards - retired from the BNP in 2007 to "spend time playing piano". But tinkling the keys is now playing second fiddle to sending abusive messages to journalists. He wrote to the Observer's Eva Wiseman after she published a column on lesbianism.

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The Pro-Zionist keffiyeh

By Jessica Elgot, September 28, 2010

The ubiquitous black and white keffiyeh is the fashion choice for the discerning pro-Palestinian activists, usually modelled by middle-class, white students shouting about apartheid states.

But now the ZF's counter-protesters can have a uniform all of their own.

A range of baby blue and white Israel keffiyehs are now on sale online - with patterned Magen Davids and the Hebrew script "Am Yisrael Chai" lining the edges.

Shemspeed, an American-Jewish music promotions group, have launched the range at http://shemspeed.com/thekef/.

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Bear to be Lord Mayor?

By Simon Rocker, September 28, 2010

Jewish businessman Michael Bear is tipped as the new Lord Mayor of London when elections take place this November.

The alderman and former Sheriff is the City of London's preferred candidate for Mayor.

Bear, who made his career in business and civil engineering, is a member of New North London Masorti synagogue and a former Clifton College pupil. Rabbi Abraham Levy of Bevis Marks Synagogue is expected to be appointed as his chaplain if he wins the election.

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You're hired - nearly

By Simon Rocker, September 21, 2010

Former JC sports reporter Craig Silver came agonisingly close to making the final cut for the next series of BBC TV's The Apprentice.

The former King Solomon pupil got down to the last pool of 15 male candidates from thousands of hopefuls. With his eye on the winner's £250,000 prize, the 24-year-old estate agent passed several stages before missing out on the chance of a boardoom duel with Lord Sugar. "The application process was gruelling but the experience gave me a buzz," he said. "My big plan was to open a traditional English sweet shop in New York."

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Yom Kippur, the cool fast

By Simon Rocker, September 21, 2010

Is the whole world turning Jewish? Here's Peaches Geldof (right) sporting a kippah at a pre-Yom Kippur meal with of-the-faith boyfriend, film director Eli Roth, in a picture posted on Twitter. (Or else she was indulging in a little papal emulation).

Another celebrity faster was actress and Kabbalah student Demi Moore who joined Jewish husband Ashton Kutcher in a day of abstinence before they ended their fast in Applebees Grill Bar.

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Grainy day rabbis

By Simon Rocker, September 21, 2010

Come September and naturally the learned men of the London Beth Din are thinking about Jewish festivals: Pesach. Top dayan Menachem Gelley was out the other week behind the wheel of a combine harvester, gathering wheat for next spring's shemurah matzah.

The LBD certainly gets out and about in the cause of kashrut, from inspecting guar gum in Pakistan to keeping the kitchens safe from treif on Yeshiva University's annual Mediterranean cruise. The name of the boat was Costa Fortuna - no reflection, I'm told, on the supervision fees.

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The Cohen coat explained

By Simon Rocker, September 21, 2010

I can now tell you how the "Cohen Coat", recently featured here, got its name.

Makers All Saints called the garment after idiosyncratic American filmmakers, the Coen brothers. Fortunately, their style is better than their spelling: the cinematic duo go sans h.

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Whoopi at the wedding

By Simon Rocker, September 16, 2010

Suzy and Justin Kennedy enjoyed unexpected celebrity congratulations at their recent marriage.

American actress Whoopi Goldberg, who is starring in the West End musical Sister Act, had just returned to her London hotel, Claridge's, when she ran into the newlyweds on their way to the reception.

"She said she was sure she would not be the only Goldberg at the wedding," said Justin.

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